The state of California imposes a time limit for filing a lemon law claim against an auto manufacturer. This lemon law time limit, called the “statute of limitations,” is four years. If you suspect that your vehicle is a lemon, do not wait to consult with a lemon law attorney about your situation. Lemon law consultations are free, and a lemon law attorney can tell you more about your legal options.
A common misconception is that the lemon law statute of limitations begins when you purchase the vehicle. In reality, this four-year time limit does not start until you first suspect that your vehicle is defective. The California Lemon Law states that a vehicle is defective if it has a recurring problem that has not been fixed, even if you have given your local dealership or authorized repair facility a reasonable number of chances to fix the vehicle.
Typically, the start of the lemon law time limit is determined by the first defect-related visit to the dealership or repair facility for the purpose of a vehicle repair. Be mindful of when this first defect-related visit occurs. The California Lemon Law requires the repairs or visits to the repair shop to have happened while the vehicle is still under warranty.
If that benchmark is met, then you can pursue a lemon law case even after your warranty has expired. However, you should not wait too long to consult with a lemon law attorney about your claim. If this lemon law time limit passes, you will not be able to pursue a lemon law case.